Friday, June 8, 2018

Making your Way! Boa Vista, Brazil - Santa Elena, Venezuela International border crossing

Arrive Boa Vista, looking to continue the trek. Little information in the guide book and great hopes of heading north to Venezuela. We run to the airport (30Rs) to find out about flights and options. Speaking with locals the plan is clear.

Following advice, we share a cramped taxi (40Rs) to the border (Pacaraima) with Venezuela. We attend to crossing procedure and hire a waiting taxi Venezuela-side to arrive at Santa Elena. Little movement here, few travelers, no other option - everything pricey.
photo credit: Vanessa mora mejias
photo credit: Paolo Costa Baldi

But you arrive at one of the most beautiful places on Earth! Gateway to waterfalls and tepuis (pictured above). Wishing you the best crossing here. And a fabulous on-going journey. Almabrazo!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Oaxaca city - Tapachula - Guatemala

Skip the fancy Galgos Bus or polished Ticabus Line and take a shuttle from the Tapachula, Chiapas MX bus station to the international border with Guatemala near the Pacific Ocean.

Once your papers are stamped and you cross, there are several school-bus type buses leaving for Guatemala City. Who needs reclining seats when you can ride with live poultry and natives? Seriously, its well worth walking across that border. Interesting bit of North American geo-political struggle there. Many people heading north seeking the future (and ability to send remittances home). As you walk the bridge, take note of the people crossing the river and the sad-eyed folks incarcerated in the cramped adobe jail. And be thankful you hit the lottery of life. Born in the developed world; you have an education, ability to read, a passport and money enough to travel...

One bit of advice which applies everywhere: Be polite, show respect and do your best to speak the language and you’ll be treated with kindness and mutual respect (and keep in mind Spanish is their second language, too).

Photo credit: Ekem

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Jump Out of your Skin - And reveal yourself!

Starting in the early 1950s, portrait photographer Philippe Halsman took a series of "Jump" pictures of celebrities in mid-air including Audrey Hepburn (pictured above), Marilyn Monroe, Robert Oppenheimer, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Brigitte Bardot, and Groucho Marx. He published Philippe Halsman's Jump Book in 1959, which contained a tongue-in-cheek discussion of jumpology and 178 photographs of celebrity jumpers. Halsman’s Jump Book has recently been republished by Damiani. 

Amazingly adorable, perfectly revealing and well worth a peak! 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tripping the Amazon! - South America's Transformation Trail

Tripping the Amazon (and the Andes) has meant a year on the South American Transformation Trail. And still going strong!

Glorious! I've been river traveling deep Amazon and crawling the peaks of the Andes on a pre-Inca road (one lane) that was partially paved and open 'til the rains of 2017. Taking up residence with Amazon natives to live their rhythm made me one of the family. Ceremonies in Brazil were good for teaching the social (communal) side of ayahuasca and the love that is to be found there. The Shipibo people of the Ucayali River, Peru are a magic matriarchal community. Open, caring and have a special touch.... This year has been full of natives, seekers, shamans, healers and plant experts. My sense of appreciation knows no bounds. I have received much, shared much and cared much. The story is far, far from over. Much good has come of it all. And there's still more to come. And so much more to share, as it fortunately happens! Almabrazo!

Watch for soon to be published exploration; "Ayahuasca - The Amazon Path to Yourself", an in-depth journey that's otherworldly!
photo credit: mick huerta

Monday, May 8, 2017

Celebrating 25 Years of the Best Dry Martini in South America!

The Best Dry Martini in South America? Yes, I can personally attest to the supreme drinkability of the Vienna Martini for 23 of its 25 years! So Smoooth. The Dry Martini there is balanced, the temperature perfect! And as for mental health benefits and restorative properties, if you drink but one (or two) as an aperitif, your meal is sure to be rejuvenating and refreshing and that translates into long-life!

And at Restaurant Vienna, they are so confident in their skills they have created a Martini of their own; the Ancho-tini (pictured above left - the classic above right). Try one and then the other, gin or vodka. The staff bartending abilities will always shine through ensuring your appreciation every sip.

Austrian Owner Paul Stach studied hotelier and cuisine in Canada. It is there he learnt the fine art of the Dry Martini. And he designed and built the restaurant to exacting specification for the satisfaction of his customers. Since opening to the public April 7th 1992, the Vienna has been the epicenter of attentive service in old world comfort. Add The Best Dry Martini in South America and you have an evening that is worth remembering and a memory that will prompt you to return time and again.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Mango Garden Cabins at "Sambo - Shipibo Ayahuasca Retreat"

The Mango Garden Cabins at Sambo - Shipibo Ayahuasca Retreat are truly excellent. All with private bath and beds fitted with mosquito nets.

Sambo - Shipibo Ayahuasca Retreat is located just (2km) outside Pucallpa/Yarinacocha in San Jose, Peru. Ask mototaxi driver for Sambo - San Jose

 (S/. 5) - Tel: (51) 961-09-7008 ( Peaceful cabañas available in a large mango garden (daily/monthly rates), Bath en suite, Free Wi-Fi. Ample garden space for pitching a tent. Parking for RV. Jungle Tours...

As well, authentic Shipibo Ceremonies available with renowned (80 y.o. shaman) Maestra Olivia Arevalo. 
Ayahuasca cooked on the grounds. Helpful family/staff and the ducks are precious! More info and photos at website -

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Yoki's Restaurant - Central Market! Lima, Peru!

YOKI's - In the center of Lima, Yoki purveys the very best of classic Peruvian foods. She and her daughters offer quick, delicious plates 6 days a week until 4pm. Try the Catch of the Day, appetizer Papa a la Huancaína, chicken, ceviche, soups or the Huevera crowned with an egg (side salad or rice)! Everything fresh, clean and made with care! And it's all so affordable!